Mattituck school shooter avoids jail time

There will be no jail time for the Mattituck man who fired a rifle toward Mattituck High School a year ago, slightly injuring a student whose cheek was grazed by a bullet passing through an open classroom window, and the victim’s family is happy for that.
Kevin Ehlinger, 29, pleaded guilty today in County Criminal Court in Riverside to several charges, including reckless endangerment and drug possession, and was sentenced by State Supreme Court Justice William Condon to five years probation with psychiatric conditions.
Darlene Olsen, whose daughter, Amanda, was treated in the nurses office after the Oct. 8 incident and returned to school the next day, had asked the court for compassion.
“Your honor, the Olsen family is pleading with you to not send Kevin to jail,” Mrs. Olsen said in a pre-sentencing statement. “We want to believe this was not an intentional act. It was just a moment of poor judgement…”
The family asked that Mr. Ehlinger, who at the time lived just east of the school on Village Lane, receive psychiatric treatment.
In an interview with The Suffolk Times, Mrs. Olsen said her family “couldn’t help but walk out of the courtroom with a feeling of peace. We all gave a big sigh of relief.”
She said her daughter, who graduated in June and is now employed locally, “is happy the way it worked out and happy we could finally close this nightmare.”
In her statement, Mrs. Olsen asked the court to give Mr. Ehlinger the counseling he needs “to keep him drug free, to heal his self-esteem and give him a new start in life.”
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